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Climbers donate to Staffordshire Wildlife Trust's appeal to improve The Roaches pathways

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 18, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Climber and member of the British Mountaineering Council, Andi Turner, from Leek, at The Roaches.

  • Climber and member of the British Mountaineering Council, Andi Turner, from Leek, at The Roaches.

  • Climber and member of the British Mountaineering Council, Andi Turner, from Leek, at The Roaches.

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An appeal for donations to help improve pathways at an iconic rocky site has had a cash boost thanks to climbers.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, which is now the custodian of the county's most iconic landscape, the Roaches, near Leek, has launched an appeal for £175,000 to regenerate some of its pathways over the next three years.

The initial fund-raising target of £30,000 is currently on its way with a total of £6,276 raised on the just-giving web page which has been set up for people to donate to the cause.

Of the funds raised so far, £5,000 has been donated by the Access and Conservation Trust of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC).

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Trustee Dave Bishop said: "The trust, which formed five years ago, is funded by members' donations and the trustees decide which projects to support.

"We have been concerned about the pathways at The Roaches for some time. We have seen the area to deteriorating and so we are very happy that Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is aiming to do something about it.

"That is why it was decided that we support the appeal by kick-starting the donations."

Dave, who is aged 76 and still climbs, has been taking part in the outdoor activity for 50 years and visiting The Roaches for around 40 years.

He added: "We have a membership of 75,000, and most of those have been to The Roaches at one time or another.

"Our members do care about where they climb. The areas are not just an instrumental place as a climber's gymnasium, but we do really care about them.

"The Roaches, along with Stannage, is the most visited crag in the UK."

Andi Turner is a climber from Leek who looks after the access at The Roaches. The 34-year-old moved to the Staffordshire Moorlands from the Yorkshire Dales six years ago to be closer to The Roaches.

Andi, who is a teacher and a mountaineering instructor, said: "I first visited them in 1999 when I was aged 19.

"I just loved The Roaches so much that I decided to move here. I am fortunate that it is not only my workplace but also where I spend my free time.

"I totally back the donation of £5,000 to the pathways appeal and have been working with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on this project."

To donate to the Roaches Pathway Appeal go online to www.justgiving.com/roaches.

Pictured is climber and member of the British Mountaineering Council, Andi Turner, from Leek, at The Roaches.

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